About a year and a half ago I came upon a book that would change my view of the cosmetics industry forever.I know, I know...it sounds really dramatic. And it was dramatic in a lot of ways. In other ways, the book just confirmed what I already knew (on some level) to be true: the beauty products I had been slathering all over my skin, lathering into my hair and brushing onto my face were toxic. That's right, toxic.
Enter: No More Dirty Looks
I read this book with a quickness and man was I pissed. Not only was I completely grossed out to learn about the coal tar in my mascara and the formaldehyde in my nail polish, but I was also absolutely appalled by the industry itself. Cosmetics are barely regulated and the world of fragrance, which is heavily protected under trade-secret laws, is basically a free-for-all.
Just do me a favor: go to your bathroom cabinet or shower and pull out your favorite beauty product. Now, turn it over and read the ingredients. If the list appears to be written in some ancient language you can't wrap you head around (let alone pronounce), the product is probably really, really bad for you.
Now, I've been in some form of marketing or sales for almost 12 years and I know all about spinning a story and selling a product. I even worked for a big box lotion-and-anti-bacterial-soap-peddling chain store for a time. My logical, marketing-oriented self knows that Gwen Stefani, Beyoncé and Sarah Jessica Parker have likely never used the products they endorse. My product-loving-I-need-this-to-look-and-feel-better self, however, was still buying the products.
I now buy cleaner cosmetics and use fewer products overall. I won't lie to you: it hasn't been easy. I've had to try several different shampoo/conditioner combinations and test many different make-up brands to find what works for me. I found it challenging to find products that were truly clean and not just green-washed by clever marketing agencies. I learned that the term 'clean' is not all that definitive when it comes to cosmetics. There are gray areas and products generally fall along some undefined 'clean' spectrum. I will also tell you that I didn't pull the switch on all of my cosmetics right away. Some of my lotions, fragrances, blushes and mascaras were expensive, so I controlled the urge to throw it all out. Instead, I replaced the nasty stuff with clean products once I ran out. So far, so good.
Obviously, I highly recommend getting the book. The writers, Siobhan O'Connor and Alexandra Spunt, lay it all out in a digestible way. They dive into the science and history behind their findings, but a good chunk of the book helps lead readers to the brands that are getting it right. Did I mention they're pretty funny? Yeah....that's something I value in a book that covers some pretty disgusting findings.
Sorry to get down and dirty in a Follow Friday post, but it had to be done. You can learn more about the book here and you can find them on social media here and here. Go ahead...click on through, ya'll. You'll be glad you did.
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